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Pope Francis meets families of Dhaka attack victims

Vatican City: Pope Francis met the families of the nine Italians killed in last year`s terrorist attack at a cafe in the Bangladesh capital, a media report said.

Pope Francis on Wednesday met 36 family members of the nine Italian victims of the attack. He embraced and comforted the families during the visit, Catholic News Agency reported.

On July 1, 2016, armed militants stormed the cafe in the diplomatic zone in Dhaka and killed nine Italians, seven Japanese, two Bangladeshis, one Indian and one Bangladesh-born US citizen. Two police officers were also killed in the attack.

“It is easy to take the road from love that leads to hatred, while it is difficult to do the opposite: from bitterness and hatred to go towards love,” the Pope said.

“You are left in anger, bitterness and desire for revenge, but you have embarked, with the pain inside, on the path of love to build and help the people of Bangladesh, especially young people so that they can study: this is to sow peace and I thank you, for me it is an example,” he added.

The bishop of Alife-Caiazzo, Valentino Di Cerbo, was also present at the meeting and presented profiles on the lives of the nine Italian victims to the Pope.

During the visit, Francis was also presented with nine olive tree seedlings with the names of the victims written on pictures of doves attached.

The families also shared special projects they undertook following the tragedy as a way to honour their loved ones killed in the attack.

On July 2, a day after the attack, the Pope sent a letter expressing his heartfelt condolence and condemning the “barbarous” act as an offence “against God and humanity”.
IANS